Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose conservative party won a landslide election victory Sunday but without enough parliamentary seats to form a government, indicated he will seek a second election hoping to consolidate his victory without the need for a coalition partner.
Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party was a full 20 percentage points ahead of its main rival, the left-wing Syriza party, with over 90% of the votes counted, a margin of victory not seen since 1974. But due to the current electoral system of proportional representation, his 40% vote share was still not enough to secure a majority of the 300 seats in parliament, meaning he would either have to seek a coalition partner from a smaller party, or head to a second election.
A new vote, likely in late June or early July, will be held with a new electoral law which gives bonus seats to the winning party, making it easier for it to form a government on its own
“From tomorrow, I will follow all constitutional procedures, but maintaining my firm view that the mathematics of proportional representation is akin to party horse-trading and results in a dead-end,” Mitsotakis said. “Without a doubt, the political earthquake that occurred today calls on us all to speed up the process for a definitive government solution so our country can have an experienced hand at its helm as soon as possible.”
A new vote, likely in late June or early July, will be held with a new electoral law which gives bonus seats to the winning party, making it easier for it to form a government on its own.
Sunday’s election was Greece’s first since its economy ceased being under strict supervision by international lenders who had provided bailout funds during the country’s nearly decade-long financial crisis. Tsipras, 48, served as prime minister during some of the most tumultuous years of the crisis, and has struggled to regain the wide support he enjoyed when he was swept to power in 2015 on a promise of reversing bailout-imposed austerity measures.
“The result is extremely negative for SYRIZA,” Tsipras said after the first results were posted. “A short while ago I contacted Mr. Mitsotakis and congratulated him on his victory. Fights have both wins and losses. Our collective bodies will convene immediately to evaluate the election results. However, the election cycle is not yet over, since there will most likely be a second election contest.
Therefore, we do not have the luxury of time. We must immediately make all the changes needed to fight the next crucial and final electoral battle on the best possible terms,” he added.